Lake Charles restaurant honors 13 fallen service members in Afghanistan

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Businesses around the country have been honoring the 13 fallen heroes in Afghanistan, and some Lake Charles businesses have followed suit

In a Lake Charles pub known for its cheer and loud conversations, a table sat in silence.

The glasses sat still, not to be drank from or used in toasts.

“These guys, you know, they put it all on the line - fought for their country,” Logan Perry said.

There were 13 chairs, all empty, to remind customers of those who recently lost their lives while ending America’s longest war.

“We are here today to honor the brave souls that died in Afghanistan,” veteran Carl Berryhill said.

Beyond the chairs, veterans filled MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub Friday to honor those who died.

“I’m fortunate enough to be able to own this restaurant to where we can show our respect to the fallen and to those that are here today and yet to come,” MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub owner James Bittner said.

With every veteran, a different story.

For 10-year Navy veteran Joline Sagona, the fallen heroes hit extremely close to home.

“It’s very important to me right now, in my heart, because of the 13 that have fallen, are the age of my daughter and my nephews,” Sagona said. “You know, it’s real dear to my heart. You know, it could easily be my child or my nephew.”

For U.S. Marine veteran Carl Berryhill, he hopes people understand their sacrifices.

“Not everyone understands why we go there, but hopefully, they can have some type of understanding of why we went and why we made those sacrifices,” Carl Berryhill said.

Veteran Herman Lazare had a heartfelt message.

“My prayers go out to the parents and to friends of all that’s fallen,” Lazare said.

Beyond the kind words were empty chairs at empty tables and grief shared by strangers for heroes they share an incredible bond with, even though they’ve never met.

To honor the fallen heroes, they reserved a table for the 13 men and women who were brave enough to fight.

Table Set for 13 – Representing the 13 Fallen Soldiers in Afghanistan.

Salt – Representing the tears of friends and family of fallen soldiers.

Single Red Rose – Representing the life of the soldier and their friends and families who miss them.

Slices of Lemon – Representing the bitter fate of those who will never return.

Upside down wineglass - Representing the soldier who cannot toast with us at this time.

Empty Chair – Representing they are no longer with us.

White Tablecloth – Representing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.

Candle – Representing the light of hope which lives in our hearts and illuminate their way home.

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